The Bull Og

Onine since 1994. Offline since 1976.

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Recently, I switched to a Mac and started using Entourage because the two things about Outlook that were hardest to give up were #1) the ability to setup meetings via Exchange and #2) management of my contacts.

A co-worker turned me onto Thunderbird (with Lightning) in a bid to help me break my Outlook addiction. I've used Outlook for so long it's hard to quit. I...

Outlook makes it so easy, but I can do away with MS PIMs apps on all OSes now that I can do calendar management with Yahoo Calendar (beta) and contact management with Plaxo.

Here's how to do it in five easy steps:

  1. Before you begin, choose a color
  2. You're about to create three calendars which will remain in sync: one in Thunderbird, one in Calgoo, and one in Yahoo.

    I recommend choosing a single color to identify your calendar across all three tools. I set forth on this exercise to make my "Work" calendar available and I chose red.

    You're likely to repeat these steps for calendars serving different purposes in the future so this is more a recommendation than a must-do but using color will help remind you which calendar you're looking at.

  3. Get yourself a Calgoo Hub account
  4. Go to Calgoo Hub and sign up. It's easy.

  5. Publish your calendar to Calgoo
  6. Follow these instructions provided by Calgoo to (create and) publish your calendar from "Sunbird" (the basis of the Lighning calendar which is Mozilla-based.)

    At this point, you can also change the color of the calendar in both Thunderbird and Calgoo.

    I recommend change settings in Calgoo on the calendar to make it private. Use that URL for the next step.

  7. Subscribe to the Calgoo in Yahoo Calendar
  8. You have to be able to use the Yahoo Calendar beta at http://beta.calendar.yahoo.com.

    Subscribe to the Calgoo calendar using the URL from the previous step and choose your color for the calendar.

  9. Check your Yahoo Calendar
  10. There it is! Your Thunderbird calendar! In Yahoo!

As easy as that, I no longer need Outlook to manage my contacts and calendars.

Thanks to Arun for suggesting that I check out Lightning.

(I see a Taskline-like plugin for Lightning in the future. Taskline, get on that. Hmmm... I see a plugin for Bugzilla tasks in the future...)

2009-01-14 UPDATE: Or, instead of the multistep process, you can make it easy on yourself by just trying this, though I did have some difficulties getting it to work (Error Console was saying the calendar was either not DAV or not available.) After a couple of times of adding and deleting calendars, and of shutting down Thunderbird and restarting it, my Yahoo calendar finally appeared in Thunderbird. Cookie issue?